Top 10 Bruce Springsteen songs

The last few weeks I've been listening to all his studio albums. Some of them multiple times. I don't think I'll ever be a huge fan of the albums, which I feel have quite a lot of filler tracks, but I do love most of his best known songs. My favorite of his records is 1987's Tunnel of Love.

1. Dancing in the Dark (From 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.)
2. State Trooper (Trentemøller Mix) (Originally from 1982’s Nebraska)
3. The River (From 1980's The River)
4. Valentine's Day (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
5. The Wrestler (From 2008's The Wrestler soundtrack)
6. Atlantic City (From 1982's Nebraska)
7. Jungleland (From 1975's Born To Run)
8. Tougher Than The Rest  (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
9. We Take Care Of Our Own (From 2012's Wrecking Ball)
10. Devil's Arcade (From 2007's Magic)

Just missed out:
Born to Run (From 1975's Born To Run)
Badlands (From 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town)
The Promised Land (From 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town)
Hungry Heart (From 1980's The River)
Point Blank (From 1980's The River)
Nebraska (From 1982's Nebraska)
Born in the U.S.A. (From 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.)
Downbound Train (From 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.)
I'm on Fire (From 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.)
Brilliant Disguise (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
Walk Like A Man (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
Tunnel of Love (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
Two Faces  (From 1987's Tunnel of Love)
Streets of Philadelphia (From 1993's Philadelphia soundtrack)
Missing (From 1995's The Crossing Guard soundtrack)
The Ghost of Tom Joad (From 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad)
Secret Garden (From 1996's Jerry Maguire soundtrack)
The Fuse (From 2002's 25th Hour soundtrack)
The Promise (From 2010's The Promise compilation album)
American Skin [41 Shots] (From 2014's High Hopes)

Above are my personal favorites.  Feel free to share your own in the comments, or tell me what I overlooked


  1. Awesome. Dancing in the Dark has grown on me so much over the years. The River, Atlantic City, and Jungleland are up there for me. It's cool to see some lesser-known tracks in your top ten like Devil's Arcade. On your "just missed" list, I see that you list The Promise from the compilation. Have you heard the one from 18 tracks? It's a solo piano version that's even better. Nice work!

    1. @Dan Heaton: Thanks, I had fun going through his discography, great driving music. I borrowed a bunch of the cds from the library.
      Considered ranking the albums, think I’ll leave that to folks who have played his records for longer.
      Yes, I wanted to highlight a few lesser known tracks, Devils Arcade is quite underrated, so is ”Missing” from Crossing Guard soundtrack. Will check the piano version of The Promise!

  2. Cool list - I've been into Springsteen a lot lately too and need to check some of these out. Dancing in the Dark is probably my top fave, with The Wrestler in my top 10. It's hard not to think about that film without that moving song.

    1. @Katy Rochelle: Thanks, there’s plenty to explore, Springsteen’s released albums since the 70s. I believe it’s generally agreed on that his recent albums(from the 90s and onwards) are weaker.
      The Wrestler song is amazing, how did it miss an oscar nom! Dancing in the Dark is also movie-related, I love how it played in that dog scene in The Place Beyond The Pines.

  3. I do like the song The Wrestler and some of his stuff from the 70s and 80s. I'm not really a fan of the Boss. I've been turned off by his recent stuff as I've had issues with the production of the records as well as some of the songs.

    1. @thevoid99: Yeah, I agree his recent albums are not classics. My top 10 songs is just how I feel now, in time, the ranking could change. Perhaps a top 10 live songs would look completely different, I don't know.
      #9 We Take Care of Your Own does have that over-produced “echo” vocal which is a bit iffy(also heard on track “The Fuse”), so could get replaced by Born in the USA(which is my #11)

  4. Great list man. I love "State Trooper (Trentemøller Mix)." Really dug how it was used in Rust and Bone as well. My favorite song from The Boss is "I'm On Fire," love that track.

    1. @Alex Withrow: Thanks! I love State Trooper, both the original and the new mix, it’s so simple, and so haunting. I’d forgotten the song featured in Rust and Bone. “I’m on Fire” is a good choice.

  5. Since I listen to mostly soundtracks and classical music, I'm only familiar w/ his songs written for a movie. I LOVE 'Streets of Philadelphia' and 'Secret Garden' is great as well. I didn't realize he wrote a lot of soundtracks in his career, great post Chris!

    1. @Ruth: Thank you! He has done quite a few songs for soundtracks. I didn’t even include all of them, there’s a track Springsteen wrote, which was sung by Michael J Fox in the movie Light of Day. Here’s the scene:

  6. Awesome #1 choice! I just listened to "Dancing in the Dark" again recently, and it's easily my favorite as well. Though, I need to check out more of Springsteen's work. I love Born in the U.S.A. (the album), but I've only listened to that and High Hopes.

    At the moment, I'd go with:

    1. "Dancing in the Dark"
    2. "Streets of Philadelphia"
    3. "The Wrestler'
    4. "Drive All Night"
    5. "I'm on Fire"
    6. "Born to Run"
    7. "My Hometown"
    8. "Tunnel of Love"
    9. "Dead Man Walkin'"
    10. "Born in the U.S.A."

    1. @Josh: Thanks for sharing your top 10, we have a few overlaps. I initially had "Streets of Philadelphia" in my top 10, before I went through all the albums. "Born in the U.S.A." is my #11. Have to give "My Hometown" a second chance!
      Dancing in the Dark is iconic, and so is the live version when he takes a female from the crowd and dances with her on stage(most memorably Courteney Cox in the video). I also find it interesting that the Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark has such a similar title.

  7. For whatever reason, I never really got into The Boss. His catalog is one of my big musical oversights. I think my problem is that I associate him most with "Born in the USA" which I know isn't really indicative of his earlier work. I should dig deeper into his discography, too.

    1. Eric @ The Warning Sign: You're right his best known song, the shouty Born in the U.S.A. is not indicative of his usual singing style. While The Boss has put out great individual tracks in the 90s and 2000s, most agree his strongest albums are from the 70s and 80s Dan at ptsnob also shared a list:

  8. You know, I have never actively listened to any Bruce Springsteen. Is that completely bizarre?

    1. @Jaina: Neither had I, until this year. No shame in that, time-consuming to listen to 18 studio albums, and I haven’t even explored the 7 EPs yet :)

  9. I only know Secret Garden (also my favorite!), Born in USA, Streets in Philadelphia and Hungry Heart

    1. @Andina: Nice choice! The melody of Secret Garden is actually a ”remake” of a previous track he did in 70s(I forget which). I prefer Secret Garden of the two.


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